After her son, Jesse, died, my friend Sally faced some very hard times. Among much sadness was the significant reality that expenses of his long illness had left her with no financial reserves.  One of the important things that Sally had to defer was placing a marker on Jesse’s grave.


When a friend of Sally’s from West Hills learned that Jesse’s grave had no marker, she and other caring Friends secretly raised funds to buy one.  And so, one rainy Sunday afternoon about a year after Jesse’s death, friends from the community gathered at Jesse’s grave at Riverview Cemetery to commemorate the placing of the stone.


Below is a picture of the stone, followed by some of the words that were spoken that day.


What does a stone mean?


That a life was lived and will not be forgotten. Time can do its usual work and we, those who promise to remember, will also die. The stone, though slowly changing, will stand or lie in place, solid, constant and telling all who pass by in all the years to come that here was a life once solid, too, remembered and loved and learned from.


What does a stone mean?


It is a marker. A marker of life and love and relationship. It is the reminder for us that, though the body no longer lingers with us, the love and relationship continue. This is not what we, who are still walking on this ground, had planned on. The way of being together has forever changed. The vehicle for the love and relationship is no longer in service. But the love and relationship remain.


What does a stone mean?


The stone reminds us of what is true: the one who lies here moved hearts, touched others. Some of us were touched every day with every breath.  Some of us were touched because this person touched others we love.  It is this movement of the heart that the stone holds. That touch that lights one of us with the spark of love and then is felt by all those connected in all the ways we connect. This is what the stone holds forever.


What does a stone mean?


A stone is a form of honor and recognition. It is not the only way we honor and recognize a life. It is, though, one of the everlasting ways we place memory. One of the ways we say this life had meaning. This life marked us. This life had substance and weight. This life spoke to us and when we pass by here we will remember.


What does Jesse’s stone mean?


The answer is for each of us unique. How have you been marked? What was the touch of Jesse’s life on yours? How does love live on?